View Full Version : c3 things i need to know?
I just found a C3 in my grandparents house while I was cleaning it out. I'm going to shoot a roll through it, but I wanted first to know if there's anything you need to know about a C3 that could potentially destroy it?
For example, I use a lot of soviet rangefinders, and if you change their shutter speeds before cocking the shutter they get very angry and sometimes break
C3s are virtually bulletproof. Just watch your fingers near the cocking lever and you'll be alright.
If you don't have one the manual can be found here: http://www.arguscg.org/manuals/c3/
The scary thing is that after roughly 60 years, and usually NO service of any kind, many C3's, my father-in-law's old one included, will probably function much as they did the day they emerged from the factory.
"Bulletproof" pretty much covers it.
The biggest problems I had were indeed keeping my fingers clear of the shutter-cocking lever when firing the shutter and the lack of double exposure protection. Nothing that can't be overcome with a bit of routine.
What a lucky boy you are!
There is absolutely bucketloads of info on C3s on the old interweb, and if you google Argus Collectors Group you'll find the biggest pool of Argus knowledge there is.
The only thing likely to destroy one is frustration at trying to get the back open - and even then you'll need to hit it repeatedly with a sledgehammer. I put mine in a coat pocket once, and cycled off. Slipped off pedals, hit camera on handlebars hard enough that one corner drew blood on my chest. Camera is completely unmarked...:eek:
Seriously, though, great find! There's loads of info out there, plenty of junkers in thrift stores for spares if you need them, and there's a good reason they lasted for nearly thirty years despite being so unergonomic - they take good pics!
thanks y'all! i cant wait to get pictures back from my first roll. i had a blast taking them.
my c3 is a matchmatic, and i find it very interesting that they forewent the usual fstops and shutter speed. i guess it might make it easier for someone who doesn't know cameras to use it, but for me its one more detail to remember that "8" is a faster shutter speed than "4"
also, i noticed when i was outside, the light seemed to be at the far end of the lightmeter when using this camera with faster film. is this because it was made to be used outside with the slower films of a previous era?
thanks for all the help!
If you aren't familiar with the C3, it's worth pointing out that you need to depress the little silver button on top before you wind on to the next exposure. The frame counter stops the film at the right position for the next shot, but it won't release it for winding on until you press the little button again. And, you probably know by now, but you have to manually cock the shutter with the little lever on the front before you take each picture.
The Matchmatic system becomes pretty difficult if the meter quits or gets lost. Glad yours is there, I hope it's reasonably accurate.
If your meter ever go's south just remember the following, Speeds: #4=1/10 sec, #5= 1/30, #6=1/60, #7=1/125 and #8=1/300.
Lens: #4=f/4, #5=f5.6, #6=f/8, #7=f/11, and #8=F/16.
As far as the cocking lever getting in the way of your finger, what I have done on my Argus camera's is just loosen the nut under the cocking lever and turn the lever so it points to the lens then tighten the nut, this way the lever is out of the way of your finger.
Good luck with your new find.
thanks again y'all. i think the issue with the cocking lever is one of those things that you can tell yourself over and over again and no matter what, it is still going to happen once in a while.
i've posted my first pictures with this camera, if you are interested.
my only real trouble with it is that even with the smallest aperture and shutter speed, it still over exposes 100 speed film on a really bright oklahoma day. oh well. 100 is pretty forgiving and i'm having a lot of fun with the camera!
thanks for all your help!
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